RISD Financial Aid


Approximately 40% of the students who demonstrate artistic and academic excellence and financial need receive RISD scholarships.

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RISD scholarships are awarded based on a combination of financial need and academic merit. Recipients of RISD scholarships must apply for financial aid each year.

Special scholarships  

RISD also offers several scholarships each year to first-year students who exhibit outstanding academic and artistic achievement but do not necessarily demonstrate need. Two awards of at least $10,000 are made to students competing in the National YoungArts Foundation (formerly known as NFAA) and two awards of at least $10,000 are made to participants in Scholastics. To be eligible for these scholarships, applicants must enter the YoungArts or Scholastics competitions.

RISD-controlled financial aid is not available to special, visiting, international or exchange students.  

Yellow Ribbon Program

RISD is pleased to announce its participation in the Post 9/11 GI Bill Yellow Ribbon Program, which provides additional financial assistance to veterans who qualify for 100% of Post-9/11 GI Bill educational benefits. RISD provides ten veterans scholarship assistance in the amount of $10,000, which is matched by the federal government for a total assistance of $20,000. Participation is limited to ten veterans, with VA regulations stipulating that assistance must be provided on a first-come, first-served basis. 

RISD begins accepting the VA Certificate of Eligibility for Yellow Ribbon on April 1 for the next academic year.  To be considered for the Yellow Ribbon program you must submit a copy of your VA Certificate of Eligibility. Application materials submitted prior to April 1 are not accepted. 

Please note: Scholarship assistance cannot exceed tuition and fees from all sources. If an applicant receives scholarship assistance from  RISD, $10,000 of this scholarship amount will be designated as the Yellow Ribbon match. If the total of scholarship assistance from RISD, the Yellow Ribbon program and Chapter 33 benefits exceeds tuition and fees, the scholarship assistance offered by RISD will be reduced commensurately.

For more information of the Yellow Ribbon program, please review the terms spelled out on the US Department of Veteran Affairs site.

Segal Americorps Match

RISD provides a matching Americorps award of up to $5,550 to two students each year. Students must provide a copy of their letter of eligibility for the Segal Americorps Education Award no later than April 1 of each year. This award is granted on a first-come, first-served basis.


Graduate students may be eligible for research assistantships in their area of study and, once enrolled, may apply for Graduate Studies|Grants.

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Graduate Fellowships are awarded by the Financial Aid office in conjunction with the student’s academic department. Fellowships may be based on financial need as determined by completion of the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), merit or a combination of both (based on departmental preferences). Typically, fellowships are awarded in equal disbursements for fall and spring semesters and paid directly to a student’s tuition account. 

Graduate Assistantships are awarded through each graduate program and are assigned by the Graduate Program director. Assistantships are awarded during the admissions process, but specific positions may not be assigned until the beginning of each semester. International students or any student who does not have a social security number cannot be assigned an assistantship during the first semester.


In informal crits, students are called on to defend their own work and provide constructive feedback to each other.